Marsha McCreadie(Film Journal International):Mexico's by authority Oscar entry for best foreign-language film presents startling iconography with its destiny, Stephanie Sigman, emblematic of the rural parts 's current problems of drug cartels and arms trafficking.
MaryAnn Johanson(Flick Filosopher):[T}in the present state is a whole lotta frustration to have existence found in a movie about... a woman en~ to play men's games who doesn't take arms back... not even a little.
Matt Glasby(Total Film):Sigman's cast is committed and the set-pieces harrowing, no more than sympathy soon gives way to shellshock.
Philip French(Observer [UK]):This terrifying thriller immerses you from inception to end...
Lisa Giles-Keddie(Daily Telegraph):Naranjo's rigid, taunt and turbulent tale shrouded in comeliness has a compellingly dangerous edge.
Sarah Cronin(Electric Sheep):It's a gripping fib told in the style of a self-same un-Hollywood thriller, with the spontaneous process and suspense stemming from a disturbingly realistic sketch of violence.
Derek Malcolm(This is London):It is at one time an exciting thriller and angry communicative comment.
David Parkinson(Radio Times):Shocking in the two its grim authenticity and explosive stylisation.
Peter Bradshaw(Guardian [UK]):s Bala is well made, and conceived during the time that something different from the self-conscious pastiche-reverence of Rodriguez or Tarantino. It is difficult pretty hard for its effects.
Antonia Quirke(Financial Times):Violent, loudly, frequently thrilling, it whips effectively from super-substantial scenes of random murder under the dispirited blur of strip lights to characters gazing calamitously out to sea, which crashes forever and ever on to perfect beaches.
Adam Woodward(Little White Lies):Clumsy symbolism undermines a opinionative performance from Sigman.
David Jenkins(Empire Magazine):All the other disarming for the fact that it takes fix in a society where politics appears superfluous and money and power are gained from one side violent, minutely orchestrated coups.
Stephanie Zacharek(Movieline):Naranjo keeps the performing tense but understated; instead of allowing explosions and shootouts to amass up, he rations them in taut doses.
Donald J. Levit(ReelTalk Movie Reviews):Shootouts are clear cracklings and deaths indiscriminate but exclusively of sensationalizing the gore.
Matthew Turner(ViewLondon):Gripping and courage-breaking in equal measure, this is ~y impressively directed and superbly acted thriller that plays like a collaboration between the Dardennes Brothers and Michael Mann.
Brian Tallerico(HollywoodChicago.com):It's a pellicle that becomes almost numbing in its general effect but it's incredibly well-made and performed.